Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
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FTR #958 Miscellaneous Articles and Updates

Updat­ing var­i­ous paths of inquiry and open­ing new ones, this pro­gram high­lights some ter­ri­fy­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties, present and future.

After set­ting forth Yale his­to­ri­an Tim­o­thy Sny­der’s opin­ion that Trump would try to stage a Reich­stag Fire type event, we chron­i­cle Trump’s desire to amend or elim­i­nate the First Amend­ment of the Con­sti­tu­tion and “loosen” the libel laws.

Much of the pro­gram updates ter­ri­fy­ing devel­op­ments in the area of what we have called “tech­no­crat­ic fas­cism,” includ­ing Face­book’s plans to imple­ment brain-to-com­put­er inter­face that would per­mit Face­book (and oth­ers) to tap into the net­work’s users thoughts. This tech­nol­o­gy is being over­seen and devel­oped by Face­book’s head of R & D–Regina Dugan–the for­mer head of DARPA. Face­book’s Build­ing 8 R & D pro­gram is pat­terned after DARPA.

Ama­zon is intro­duc­ing the new Echo Look, which will put a cam­era, con­nect­ed to an arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, in peo­ple’s bed­rooms, osten­si­bly to pro­vide them with real-time fash­ion cri­tique.

Next, we high­light the fact that arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence quick­ly absorbs human racial and gen­der bias­es, which bodes poor­ly for our future.

The broad­cast con­cludes with a look at the lat­est alleged “Russ­ian” hack–that of French pres­i­dent Emanuel Macron. The hacked doc­u­ments con­tained Cyril­lic meta­da­ta, some­thing Russ­ian intel­li­gence would NOT have done.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Face­book’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion of inti­mate data on stressed and trou­bled teenagers to adver­tis­ers and oth­er third par­ties; the com­plete lack of civ­il lib­er­ties and pri­va­cy over­sight of the impend­ing Face­book and Ama­zon tech­nolo­gies; review of the analy­sis of the alleged “Russ­ian” hacks, doc­u­ment­ing the ludi­crous nature of the asser­tions; the lat­est alleged hack by the Shad­ow Bro­kers, involv­ing the com­mu­ni­ca­tion of white suprema­cist ide­ol­o­gy and an asser­tion that the cul­prits are pro-Trump U.S. Deep State insid­ers.


FTR #950 Shock to the System: Further Reflections on the Breitbart Axis

This broad­cast updates cov­er­age of key aspects of the Nazi/fascist, oops, we mean “alt-right,” milieu that moved into gov­ern­ment cour­tesy of the Trumpenkampfver­bande and Bre­it­bart.

Fur­ther devel­op­ing the ter­ri­fy­ing real­i­ty of what Arti­fi­cial Intel­l­li­gence (AI) can accom­plish for the ded­i­cat­ed fas­cist, oops, we mean “alt-right” adher­ent, we note an impor­tant address giv­en at SXSW. Microsoft researcher Kate Craw­ford gave a speech titled “Dark Days: AI and the Rise of Fas­cism.” The pre­sen­ta­tion high­light­ed the social impact of machine learn­ing and large-scale data sys­tems. The take home mes­sage? By del­e­gat­ing pow­ers to Bid Data-dri­ven AIs, those AIs could become fascist’s dream: Incred­i­ble pow­er over the lives of oth­ers with min­i­mal account­abil­i­ty: ” . . . .‘This is a fascist’s dream,’ she said. ‘Pow­er with­out account­abil­i­ty.’ . . . .”

Turn­ing next to the polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy of Steve Ban­non and the sem­i­nal influ­ences on its devel­op­ment, we refresh our acquain­tance with Cur­tis Yarvin, aka “Men­cius Mold­bug,” a her­ald of the Dark Enlight­ment.

Cur­tis Yarvin has actu­al­ly opened a backchan­nel advi­so­ry con­nec­tion to the White House.

Note that the Ban­non influ­ences all seem to agree that what is need­ed is “a shock to the sys­tem.” We may very well expe­ri­ence just that. ” . . . . . . . . Bannon’s read­ings tend to have one thing in com­mon: the view that tech­nocrats have put West­ern civ­i­liza­tion on a down­ward tra­jec­to­ry and that only a shock to the sys­tem can reverse its decline. . . . ”

Fas­cist philoso­pher Julius Evola is anoth­er of the key influ­ences on Ban­non. Evola was an ear­ly occult fas­cist, with strong con­nec­tions with Mus­solin­i’s Italy. Even­tu­al­ly Evola estab­lished strong, last­ing con­nec­tions with the Nazi SS, both oper­a­tional­ly and ide­o­log­i­cal­ly.

He is anoth­er advo­cate of the “shock to the system”/“blow it up” approach to the sta­tus quo. ” . . . Chang­ing the sys­tem, Evola argued, was ‘not a ques­tion of con­test­ing and polemi­ciz­ing, but of blow­ing every­thing up.’ . . . .”

A reveal­ing influ­ence on Ban­non is a French nov­el The Camp of the Saints by Jean Ras­pail. “. . . . The Camp of the Saints — which draws its title from Rev­e­la­tion 20:9 — is noth­ing less than a call to arms for the white Chris­t­ian West, to revive the spir­it of the Cru­sades and steel itself for bloody con­flict against the poor black and brown world with­out and the trai­tors with­in. The novel’s last line links past humil­i­a­tions tight­ly to its own grim para­ble about mod­ern migra­tion. ‘The Fall of Con­stan­tino­ple,’ Raspail’s unnamed nar­ra­tor says, ‘is a per­son­al mis­for­tune that hap­pened to all of us only last week.’ . . . . ”

In FTR #947, we high­light­ed Sebas­t­ian Gor­ka, a Bre­it­bart alum­nus and Hun­gar­i­an fas­cist. Gor­ka is now the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s point man work­ing against Islam­ic ter­ror­ism. His view (and Ban­non’s) that we are engaged in an his­toric clash of civ­i­liza­tions. That is pre­cise­ly the point of view expressed by ISIS (and The Camp of the Saints) and will play into their hands.

That, in turn, will help pro­pel the U.S. into more end­less wars on the periph­ery of our empire, ulti­mate­ly sap­ping the nation’s vital­i­ty and lead­ing to the fall of the U.S. in a man­ner delin­eat­ed in FTR #944.

After review­ing Gorka’s anti-Semi­tism, his pro­found con­nec­tions to three gen­er­a­tions of Hun­gar­i­an fas­cism dat­ing to the pre-World War II peri­od and con­fir­ma­tion of his alle­giance to the Order of Vitezi Rend, we high­light the fact that Gor­ka is part of the Strate­gic Ini­tia­tives Group, some­thing of a par­al­lel NSC formed by Steve Ban­non. It reminds us of Hitler’s cre­ation of a par­al­lel gen­er­al staff, born of a mis­trust of his own senior offi­cers and a desire to have a trust­ed cadre to obey his orders.

” . . . . In the Unit­ed States, Gor­ka, who was appoint­ed deputy assis­tant to the pres­i­dent on Jan­u­ary 20, is known as a tele­vi­sion com­men­ta­tor, a pro­fes­sor and an “alt-right” writer who describes him­self as a coun­tert­er­ror­ism expert. A close asso­ciate of Stephen Ban­non, Trump’s chief strate­gist, Gor­ka is now part of Bannon’s key in-house White House think tank, the Strate­gic Ini­tia­tives Group. The new­ly formed group con­sists of fig­ures close to Trump and is seen by some as a rival to the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil in for­mu­lat­ing poli­cies for the pres­i­dent. . . .”

The con­clu­sion of the pro­gram fore­shad­ows dis­cus­sion in our next broad­cast, which will crit­i­cal­ly exam­ine Bernie Sanders cam­paign and dis­turb­ing indi­ca­tions that his can­di­da­cy may have been gen­er­at­ed by the Under­ground Reich as a vehi­cle for infil­trat­ing and desta­bi­liz­ing the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty.

In FTR #941, we high­light­ed the push by Bernie Sanders and his promi­nent backer Tul­si Gab­bard to have Kei­th Elli­son, an African-Amer­i­can Mus­lim to be head of the DNC. He was not elect­ed head of the DNC, but is now deputy chair of the DNC, the posi­tion for­mer­ly held by Gab­bard.

Elli­son is net­worked with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, and the Nation of Islam as well. ” . . . . Indeed, the June 21, 1998 arti­cle states that at that time – that is, three years after Farrakhan’s march – Elli­son was a mem­ber of the Nation of Islam: ‘Elli­son has been active in the com­mu­ni­ty, but not with­in the estab­lished DFL par­ty [the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty in Min­neso­ta]. A mem­ber of the Nation of Islam, Elli­son was the coor­di­na­tor of the Min­neso­ta par­tic­i­pants in the Mil­lion Man March and the sub­se­quent com­mu­ni­ty group that formed.’ . . . .”

In a point of dis­cus­sion that will be con­duct­ed at greater length in our next pro­gram, we con­clude by not­ing that anoth­er of Kei­th Ellison’s sup­port­ers to head the DNC was Faisal Gill, a Grover Norquist pro­tege whom we cov­ered in FTR #467.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: review of Gorka’s for­ma­tion of a fas­cist par­ty in Hun­gary in the last decade; review of Gorka’s doc­tri­naire anti-Semi­tism; review of Gorka’s net­work­ing with mem­bers of the Job­bik Par­ty in Hun­gary; review of Gorka’s sup­port­ive atti­tude toward the Arrow Cross Par­ty, which allied with Hitler; review of Job­bik’s affin­i­ty with Julius Evola; review of Karl Rove’s and Grover Norquist’s sem­i­nal sup­port for the cre­ation of a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood branch of the GOP.


FTR #949 Walkin’ the Snake with Breitbart, Part 2

The title of the pro­gram refers to the Nazi tract Ser­pen­t’s Walk. The back cov­er of that book sums up the essence of the tome: ” . . . It assumes that Hitler’s war­rior elite — the SS — did­n’t give up their strug­gle for a White world when they lost the Sec­ond World War. Instead their sur­vivors went under­ground and adopt­ed some of the tac­tics of their ene­mies: they began build­ing their eco­nom­ic mus­cle and buy­ing into the opin­ion-form­ing media. A cen­tu­ry after the war they are ready to chal­lenge the democ­rats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Amer­i­cans, who have begun to have their fill of gov­ern­ment-enforced mul­ti-cul­tur­al­ism and ‘equal­i­ty.’ . . .”

The “opin­ion-form­ing media” in 2017 has crys­tal­lized into a fright­en­ing­ly dom­i­nant enti­ty, the Bre­it­bart­ian engine of Steven Ban­non, Robert Mer­cer, Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca and the lat­ter’s par­ent com­pa­ny SCL. An arti­cle from The Guardian sets forth this ter­ri­fy­ing devel­op­ment.

Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, and its par­ent com­pa­ny SCL, spe­cial­ize in using AI and Big Data psy­cho­me­t­ric analy­sis on hun­dreds of mil­lions of Amer­i­cans in order to mod­el indi­vid­ual behav­ior. SCL devel­ops strate­gies to use that infor­ma­tion, and manip­u­late search engine results to change pub­lic opin­ion (the Trump cam­paign was appar­ent­ly very big into AI and Big Data dur­ing the cam­paign).

Indi­vid­ual social media users receive mes­sages craft­ed to influ­ence them, gen­er­at­ed by the (in effect) Nazi AI at the core of this media engine, using Big Data to tar­get the indi­vid­ual user!

As the arti­cle notes, not only are Cam­bridge Analytica/SCL are using their pro­pa­gan­da tech­niques to shape US pub­lic opin­ion in a fas­cist direc­tion, but they are achiev­ing this by uti­liz­ing their pro­pa­gan­da machine to char­ac­ter­ize all news out­lets to the left of Bri­et­bart as “fake news” that can’t be trust­ed.

In short, the secre­tive far-right bil­lion­aire (Robert Mer­cer), joined at the hip with Steve Ban­non, is run­ning mul­ti­ple firms spe­cial­iz­ing in mass psy­cho­me­t­ric pro­fil­ing based on data col­lect­ed from Face­book and oth­er social media. Mercer/Bannon/Cambridge Analytica/SCL are using Naz­i­fied AI and Big Data to devel­op mass pro­pa­gan­da cam­paigns to turn the pub­lic against every­thing that isn’t Bri­et­bart­ian by con­vinc­ing the pub­lic that all non-Bri­et­bart­ian media out­lets are con­spir­ing to lie to the pub­lic.

This is the ulti­mate Ser­pen­t’s Walk scenario–a Naz­i­fied Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence draw­ing on Big Data gleaned from the world’s inter­net and social media oper­a­tions to shape pub­lic opin­ion, tar­get indi­vid­ual users, shape search engine results and even feed­back to Trump to craft his press con­fer­ences!

We note that SCL, the par­ent com­pa­ny of Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, has been deeply involved with “psy­ops” in places like Afghanistan and Pak­istan. Now, Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, their Big Data and AI com­po­nents, Mer­cer mon­ey and Ban­non polit­i­cal savvy are apply­ing that to con­tem­po­rary soci­ety.

At the end of the pro­gram we note that Ban­non had turned Bre­it­bart toward sup­port­ing Naren­dra Mod­i’s BJP Par­ty in India.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

a) Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca’s par­ent cor­po­ra­tion SCL, deeply involved with “psy­ops” in Afghanistan and Pak­istan. ” . . . But there was anoth­er rea­son why I recog­nised Robert Mercer’s name: because of his con­nec­tion to Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, a small data ana­lyt­ics com­pa­ny. He is report­ed to have a $10m stake in the com­pa­ny, which was spun out of a big­ger British com­pa­ny called SCL Group. It spe­cialis­es in ‘elec­tion man­age­ment strate­gies’ and ‘mes­sag­ing and infor­ma­tion oper­a­tions’, refined over 25 years in places like Afghanistan and Pak­istan. In mil­i­tary cir­cles this is known as ‘psy­ops’ – psy­cho­log­i­cal oper­a­tions. (Mass pro­pa­gan­da that works by act­ing on people’s emo­tions.) . . .”

b) The use of mil­lions of “bots” to manip­u­late pub­lic opin­ion: ” . . . .‘It does seem pos­si­ble. And it does wor­ry me. There are quite a few pieces of research that show if you repeat some­thing often enough, peo­ple start invol­un­tar­i­ly to believe it. And that could be lever­aged, or weaponised for pro­pa­gan­da. We know there are thou­sands of auto­mat­ed bots out there that are try­ing to do just that.’ . . .”

c) The use of Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence: ” . . . There’s noth­ing acci­den­tal about Trump’s behav­iour, Andy Wig­more tells me. ‘That press con­fer­ence. It was absolute­ly bril­liant. I could see exact­ly what he was doing. There’s feed­back going on con­stant­ly. That’s what you can do with arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence. You can mea­sure every reac­tion to every word. He has a word room, where you fix key words. We did it. So with immi­gra­tion, there are actu­al­ly key words with­in that sub­ject mat­ter which peo­ple are con­cerned about. So when you are going to make a speech, it’s all about how can you use these trend­ing words.’ . . .”

d) The use of bio-psy­cho-social pro­fil­ing: ” . . . Bio-psy­cho-social pro­fil­ing, I read lat­er, is one offen­sive in what is called ‘cog­ni­tive war­fare’. Though there are many oth­ers: ‘recod­ing the mass con­scious­ness to turn patri­o­tism into col­lab­o­ra­tionism,’ explains a Nato brief­ing doc­u­ment on coun­ter­ing Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion writ­ten by an SCL employ­ee. ‘Time-sen­si­tive pro­fes­sion­al use of media to prop­a­gate nar­ra­tives,’ says one US state depart­ment white paper. ‘Of par­tic­u­lar impor­tance to psy­op per­son­nel may be pub­licly and com­mer­cial­ly avail­able data from social media plat­forms.’ . . .”

e) The use and/or cre­ation of a cog­ni­tive casu­al­ty: ” . . . . Yet anoth­er details the pow­er of a ‘cog­ni­tive casu­al­ty’ – a ‘moral shock’ that ‘has a dis­abling effect on empa­thy and high­er process­es such as moral rea­son­ing and crit­i­cal think­ing’. Some­thing like immi­gra­tion, per­haps. Or ‘fake news’. Or as it has now become: ‘FAKE news!!!!’ . . . ”

f) All of this adds up to a “cyber Ser­pen­t’s Walk.” ” . . . . How do you change the way a nation thinks? You could start by cre­at­ing a main­stream media to replace the exist­ing one with a site such as Bre­it­bart. [Ser­pen­t’s Walk sce­nario with Bre­it­bart becom­ing “the opin­ion form­ing media”!–D.E.] You could set up oth­er web­sites that dis­place main­stream sources of news and infor­ma­tion with your own def­i­n­i­tions of con­cepts like “lib­er­al media bias”, like CNSnews.com. And you could give the rump main­stream media, papers like the ‘fail­ing New York Times!’ what it wants: sto­ries. Because the third prong of Mer­cer and Bannon’s media empire is the Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­i­ty Insti­tute. . . .”


FTR #948 Walkin’ the Snake with Breitbart: The Gathering Sturm

The title of the pro­gram refers to the Nazi tract Ser­pen­t’s Walk. The back cov­er of that book sums up the essence of the tome: ” . . . It assumes that Hitler’s war­rior elite — the SS — did­n’t give up their strug­gle for a White world when they lost the Sec­ond World War. Instead their sur­vivors went under­ground and adopt­ed some of their tac­tics of their ene­mies: they began build­ing their eco­nom­ic mus­cle and buy­ing into the opin­ion-form­ing media. A cen­tu­ry after the war they are ready to chal­lenge the democ­rats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Amer­i­cans, who have begun to have their fill of gov­ern­ment-enforced mul­ti-cul­tur­al­ism and ‘equal­i­ty.’ . . .”

The “opin­ion-form­ing media” in 2017 has crys­tal­lized into a fright­en­ing­ly dom­i­nant enti­ty, the Bre­it­bart­ian engine of Steven Ban­non, Robert Mer­cer, Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca and the lat­ter’s par­ent com­pa­ny SCL. An arti­cle from The Guardian sets forth this ter­ri­fy­ing devel­op­ment. (Note that, due to the lim­i­ta­tions of time, we were not able to read the entire sto­ry. The arti­cle will be the cen­ter­piece of a fol­low-up pro­gram.)

Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca and its par­ent com­pa­ny SCL, spe­cial­ize in using AI and Big Data psy­cho­me­t­ric analy­sis on hun­dreds of mil­lions of Amer­i­cans in order to mod­el indi­vid­ual behav­ior. SCL devel­ops strate­gies to use that infor­ma­tion, and manip­u­late search engine results to change pub­lic opin­ion (the Trump cam­paign was appar­ent­ly very big into AI and Big Data dur­ing the cam­paign).

Indi­vid­ual social media users receive mes­sages craft­ed to influ­ence them, gen­er­at­ed by the Nazi AI at the core of this media engine, using Big Data to tar­get the indi­vid­ual user!

As the arti­cle notes, not only are Cam­bridge Analytica/SCL are using their pro­pa­gan­da tech­niques to shape US pub­lic opin­ion in a fas­cist direc­tion, but they are achiev­ing this by uti­liz­ing their pro­pa­gan­da machine to char­ac­ter­ize all news out­lets to the left of Bri­et­bart as “fake news” that can’t be trust­ed.

In short, the secre­tive far-right bil­lion­aire (Robert Mer­cer), joined at the hip with Steve Ban­non, is run­ning mul­ti­ple firms spe­cial­iz­ing in mass psy­cho­me­t­ric pro­fil­ing based on data col­lect­ed from Face­book and oth­er social media. Mercer/Bannon/Cambridge Analytica/SCL are using Naz­i­fied AI and Big Data to devel­op mass pro­pa­gan­da cam­paigns to turn the pub­lic against every­thing that isn’t Bri­et­bart­ian by con­vinc­ing the pub­lic that all non-Bri­et­bart­ian media out­lets are con­spir­ing to lie to the pub­lic.

This is the ulti­mate Ser­pen­t’s Walk scenario–a Nazi Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence draw­ing on Big Data gleaned from the world’s inter­net and social media oper­a­tions to shape pub­lic opin­ion, tar­get indi­vid­ual users, shape search engine results and even feed­back to Trump while he is giv­ing press con­fer­ences!

We begin the pro­gram with a “sign of the times.” Some­thing of a barom­e­ter for the present polit­i­cal cli­mate is New York Times colum­nist Paul Krug­man’s recog­ni­tion that: “Are you angry about the white nation­al­ist takeover of the U.S. gov­ern­ment? . . . Does any­one doubt it? And giv­en this real­i­ty, it’s com­plete­ly rea­son­able to wor­ry that Amer­i­ca will go the route of oth­er nations like Hun­gary, which remain democ­ra­cies on paper but have become author­i­tar­i­an states in prac­tice. . . .”

After dis­cussing Bre­it­bart alum­nus Sebas­t­ian Gorka’s role as the point man for the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s counter-jihadist strat­e­gy, the pro­gram fur­ther devel­ops his roots in Hun­gar­i­an fas­cism, past and present. ” . . . . But an inves­ti­ga­tion by the For­ward into Gorka’s activ­i­ties from 2002 to 2007, while he was active in Hun­gar­i­an pol­i­tics and jour­nal­ism, found that he had close ties then to Hun­gar­i­an far-right cir­cles, and has in the past cho­sen to work with open­ly racist and anti-Semit­ic groups and pub­lic fig­ures. Gorka’s involve­ment with the far right includes co-found­ing a polit­i­cal par­ty with for­mer promi­nent mem­bers of Job­bik, a polit­i­cal par­ty with a well-known his­to­ry of anti-Semi­tism; repeat­ed­ly pub­lish­ing arti­cles in a news­pa­per known for its anti-Semit­ic and racist con­tent; and attend­ing events with some of Hungary’s most noto­ri­ous extreme-right fig­ures. . . . In the Unit­ed States, Gor­ka, who was appoint­ed deputy assis­tant to the pres­i­dent on Jan­u­ary 20, is known as a tele­vi­sion com­men­ta­tor, a pro­fes­sor and an “alt-right” writer who describes him­self as a coun­tert­er­ror­ism expert. A close asso­ciate of Stephen Ban­non, Trump’s chief strate­gist, Gor­ka is now part of Bannon’s key in-house White House think tank, the Strate­gic Ini­tia­tives Group. The new­ly formed group con­sists of fig­ures close to Trump and is seen by some as a rival to the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil in for­mu­lat­ing poli­cies for the pres­i­dent.”

Turn­ing to the well-pub­li­cized issue of what is por­trayed as “anti-ille­gal” immi­grant pol­i­cy, we note DHS Sec­re­tary John Kel­ly’s recruit­ment of local law enforce­ment offi­cers as fed­er­al immi­gra­tion enforcers, a sig­nif­i­cant step from a stand­point of the con­sti­tu­tion.

The Trumpenkampfver­bande is mov­ing to pub­li­cize crimes actu­al­ly, or alleged­ly, com­mit­ted by ille­gal immi­grants, a tac­tic that was used by Hitler to max­i­mize anti-Semi­tism in Ger­many. When the Ger­man pop­u­lace proved insuf­fi­cient­ly respon­sive to Nazi anti-Semit­ic pol­i­cy, crimes com­mit­ted by Jews became a high-pro­file pro­pa­gan­da fea­ture of the Reich. “ . . . . In The Nazi Con­science, Duke his­to­ri­an Clau­dia Koonz notes that the Nazi news­pa­per Der Sturmer ran a fea­ture called ‘Let­ter Box,’ which pub­lished read­ers’ accounts of Jew­ish crimes. When the Nazis took pow­er, the Ger­man state began doing some­thing sim­i­lar. Frus­trat­ed by the fail­ure of most Ger­mans to par­tic­i­pate in a boy­cott of Jew­ish busi­ness­es in April 1933, Adolf Hitler’s gov­ern­ment began pub­li­ciz­ing Jew­ish crime sta­tis­tics as a way of stok­ing anti-Semi­tism. In Nazi Ger­many and the Jews: The Years of Per­se­cu­tion, the his­to­ri­an Saul Fried­lan­der notes that, until 1938, Hitler’s Min­istry of Jus­tice ordered pros­e­cu­tors to for­ward every crim­i­nal indict­ment against a Jew so the ministry’s press office could pub­li­cize it. . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include:The Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s appar­ent intent to stop mon­i­tor­ing the activ­i­ties of domes­tic fas­cist and white suprema­cist hate groups; The League of the South’s for­ma­tion of a para­mil­i­tary cadre, designed with an eye to being dep­u­tized as enforcers by fed­er­al, state or local gov­ern­ments; The Lithuan­ian cel­e­bra­tion of Third Reich col­lab­o­ra­tor Kazys Skir­pa, who was por­trayed as Pepe the Frog, an Amer­i­can “Alt-Right” meme; The appoint­ment of Chrys­tia Free­land as Cana­di­an For­eign Minister–her grand­fa­ther was a major Ukrain­ian fas­cist and Nazi collaborator–this appears to have mint­ed her anti-Russ­ian dog­ma.


FTR #946 In Your Facebook: A Virtual Panopticon, Part 2

In FTR #718 (record­ed on Inde­pen­dence Day week­end of 2010), we not­ed that the new social medium–Facebook-might very well be the oppo­site of the lib­er­at­ing, empow­er­ing enti­ty many believed it to be.

On the con­trary, we said–it received finan­cial back­ing from the CIA, per­mits unprece­dent­ed gath­er­ing and data­bas­ing of users’ per­son­al infor­ma­tion, and might very well be a “panopticon”–a type of prison in which the interned can nev­er see his or her jail­ers, but their keep­ers can see the interned at all times.

In par­tic­u­lar, we not­ed the promi­nent posi­tion of major Face­book investor Peter Thiel in “Mon­do Zucker­berg.” Of Ger­man (and prob­a­ble I.G. Far­ben) ori­gins, we opined that Thiel was Under­ground Reich. Opposed to democ­ra­cy because he feels it is inim­i­cal to wealth cre­ation and does­n’t believe women should be allowed to vote, Thiel has now emerged as one of the most promi­nent of Don­ald Trump’s sup­port­ers, tran­si­tion team cre­ators and influ­en­tial pol­i­cy wonks.

Where­as we explored the “vir­tu­al panop­ti­con” con­cept of Face­book with a ques­tion mark in 2010, we now feel affir­ma­tive­ly on the issue.

A very impor­tant sto­ry from New York mag­a­zine sets forth Face­book’s role in the just-con­clud­ed elec­tion. ” . . . . Facebook’s size, reach, wealth, and pow­er make it effec­tive­ly the only one that mat­ters. And, boy, does it mat­ter. At the risk of being hyper­bol­ic, I think there are few events over the last decade more sig­nif­i­cant than the social network’s whole­sale acqui­si­tion of the tra­di­tion­al func­tions of news media (not to men­tion the polit­i­cal-par­ty appa­ra­tus). Trump’s ascen­dan­cy is far from the first mate­r­i­al con­se­quence of Facebook’s con­quer­ing inva­sion of our social, cul­tur­al, and polit­i­cal lives, but it’s still a brac­ing reminder of the extent to which the social net­work is able to upend exist­ing struc­ture and trans­form soci­ety — and often not for the bet­ter. . . .

” . . . . Facebook’s enor­mous audi­ence, and the mech­a­nisms of dis­tri­b­u­tion on which the site relies — i.e., the emo­tion­al­ly charged activ­i­ty of shar­ing, and the show-me-more-like-this feed­back loop of the news feed algo­rithm — makes it the only site to sup­port a gen­uine­ly lucra­tive mar­ket in which shady pub­lish­ers arbi­trage traf­fic by entic­ing peo­ple off of Face­book and onto ad-fes­tooned web­sites, using sto­ries that are alter­nate­ly made up, incor­rect, exag­ger­at­ed beyond all rela­tion­ship to truth, or all three. . . .

” . . . . And at the heart of the prob­lem, any­way, is not the moti­va­tions of the hoax­ers but the struc­ture of social media itself. Tens of mil­lions of peo­ple, invig­o­rat­ed by insur­gent out­sider can­di­dates and anger at per­ceived polit­i­cal ene­mies, were served up or shared emo­tion­al­ly charged news sto­ries about the can­di­dates, because Facebook’s sort­ing algo­rithm under­stood from expe­ri­ence that they were seek­ing such sto­ries. Many of those sto­ries were lies, or ‘par­o­dies,’ but their appear­ance and place­ment in a news feed were no dif­fer­ent from those of any pub­lish­er with a com­mit­ment to, you know, not lying. As those peo­ple and their fol­low­ers clicked on, shared, or oth­er­wise engaged with those sto­ries — which they did, because Trump dri­ves engage­ment extreme­ly bigly — they were served up even more of them. The engage­ment-dri­ving feed­back loop reached the heights of Face­book itself, which shared fake news to its front page on more than one occa­sion after fir­ing the small team of edi­to­r­i­al employ­ees tasked with pass­ing news judg­ment. . . .

” . . . . Some­thing like 170 mil­lion peo­ple in North Amer­i­ca use Face­book every day, a num­ber that’s not only sev­er­al orders of mag­ni­tude larg­er than even the most opti­mistic cir­cu­la­tion reck­on­ings of major news out­lets but also about one-and-a-half times as many peo­ple as vot­ed on Tues­day. Forty-four per­cent of all adults in the Unit­ed States say they get news from Face­book . . . ”

Symp­to­matic of Face­book’s fil­ter of what its users see con­cerns the social medi­um’s recent non-cov­er­age of the wom­en’s march:

” . . . . We don’t usu­al­ly post on Pan­do at the week­end, but this is too top­i­cal and too shame­ful to wait until Mon­day. As you cer­tain­ly know, today is the day of the Women’s March on Wash­ing­ton in protest of Don­ald Trump. The main event is in DC, where some­thing close to 500,000 pro­test­ers of all gen­ders and ages have packed the streets — but there are also major protests in Chica­go, New York and around the world. Includ­ing Antarc­ti­ca.

You cer­tain­ly know this because the protest march is the top sto­ry on every major news out­let, and because updates and pho­tos from the event are flood­ing your Twit­ter and Face­book feeds.

And yet, here’s what Facebook’s trend­ing news feed looked like at the height of the march…

And here’s its trend­ing pol­i­tics feed…

Notice any­thing miss­ing?

Like, say, a half mil­lion women? . . .

In case you think I’m see­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent from the rest of the world, be assured I’m not….”

Face­book has changed its algo­rithm, no longer fac­tor­ing in “likes” and oth­er per­son­al pref­er­ences in deter­min­ing its news feed.

This, how­ev­er, does not bode as well as Face­book would like us to believe. Face­book has pro­mot­ed, among oth­ers, Camp­bell Brown, to an impor­tant posi­tion in struc­tur­ing its news feed: ” . . . . Brown has long­stand­ing ties not just to the tra­di­tion­al news media, but also to con­ser­v­a­tive pol­i­tics, although she describes her­self as a polit­i­cal inde­pen­dent. She is a close per­son­al friend of Bet­sy DeVos, the Repub­li­can megadonor who is Don­ald Trump’s nom­i­nee for Edu­ca­tion Sec­re­tary, and is mar­ried to Dan Senor, a for­mer top advi­sor to Mitt Rom­ney who also served as spokesper­son for the Coali­tion Pro­vi­sion­al Author­i­ty in the wake of the 2003 inva­sion of Iraq. . . .

. . . . And along­side her main­stream media expe­ri­ence, Brown is famil­iar with the world of non-tra­di­tion­al news out­lets spring­ing up online. In 2014, she found­ed a non­prof­it news site, The 74, which bills itself as non­par­ti­san but which crit­ics have said func­tions as advo­ca­cy jour­nal­ism, tilt­ed in favor of char­ter schools and against teach­ers’ unions. The site was launched with mon­ey from donors includ­ing the foun­da­tion run by DeVos, Trump’s pro­posed Edu­ca­tion Sec­re­tary. When the nom­i­na­tion was announced, Brown said she would recuse her­self from The 74’s cov­er­age of DeVos. . .”

Brown is joined by Tuck­er Bounds, a for­mer John McCain advis­er and spokesman for the McCain/Palin cam­paign.

Exem­pli­fy­ing the ter­ri­fy­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties of the vir­tu­al panop­ti­con, we exam­ine the nexus of Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, its prin­ci­pal investors, Robert and Rebekah Mer­cer and Steve Ban­non, a key mem­ber of the fir­m’s board of direc­tors and a polit­i­cal guru to Rebekah. ” . . . . For sev­er­al years, a data firm even­tu­al­ly hired by the Trump cam­paign, Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, has been using Face­book as a tool to build psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­files that rep­re­sent some 230 mil­lion adult Amer­i­cans. A spin­off of a British con­sult­ing com­pa­ny and some­time-defense con­trac­tor known for its coun­tert­er­ror­ism ‘psy ops’ work in Afghanistan, the firm does so by seed­ing the social net­work with per­son­al­i­ty quizzes. Respon­dents — by now hun­dreds of thou­sands of us, most­ly female and most­ly young but enough male and old­er for the firm to make infer­ences about oth­ers with sim­i­lar behav­iors and demo­graph­ics — get a free look at their Ocean scores. Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca also gets a look at their scores and, thanks to Face­book, gains access to their pro­files and real names.

“Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca worked on the ‘Leave’ side of the Brex­it cam­paign. In the Unit­ed States it takes only Repub­li­cans as clients: Sen­a­tor Ted Cruz in the pri­maries, Mr. Trump in the gen­er­al elec­tion. Cam­bridge is report­ed­ly backed by Robert Mer­cer, a hedge fund bil­lion­aire and a major Repub­li­can donor; a key board mem­ber is Stephen K. Ban­non, the head of Bre­it­bart News who became Mr. Trump’s cam­paign chair­man and is set to be his chief strate­gist in the White House. . .

” . . . . Their [the Mer­cers] data firm, Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, was hired by the Cruz cam­paign. They switched to sup­port Trump short­ly after he clinched the nom­i­na­tion, and he even­tu­al­ly hired Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, as well. Their top polit­i­cal guru is Steve Ban­non, the for­mer Bre­it­bart News chair­man and White House chief strate­gist. They’re close, too, with Trump’s cam­paign man­ag­er Kellyanne Con­way, who also has a senior role in the White House. They nev­er speak to the press and hard­ly ever even release a pub­lic state­ment. Like Trump him­self, they’ve flout­ed the stan­dard play­book for how things are done in pol­i­tics. . . .”

Ban­non’s influ­ence on Rebekah Mer­cer is par­tic­u­lar­ly strong: ” . . . Anoth­er of the Repub­li­can oper­a­tives described Ban­non as the ‘Obi-Wan Keno­bi’ to Rebekah Mer­cer, and a third was even more point­ed: ‘Sven­gali.’ Ban­non is ‘real­ly, real­ly, real­ly influ­en­tial’ with Mer­cer, said the for­mer Bre­it­bart employ­ee. The Mer­cers, the for­mer employ­ee said, made their wish­es known through Ban­non, who would some­times cite the company’s finan­cial back­ers as a rea­son for Bre­it­bart not to do a sto­ry. Ban­non didn’t respond to a request for com­ment about this. . . .”

In turn, the influ­ence of Steve Ban­non with­in the Face­book vir­tu­al panop­ti­con is even more sin­is­ter con­sid­er­ing Ban­non’s polit­i­cal out­look: ” . . . . But, said the source, who request­ed anonymi­ty to speak can­did­ly about Ban­non, ‘There are some things he’s only going to share with peo­ple who he’s tight with and who he trusts.’

Bannon’s read­ings tend to have one thing in com­mon: the view that tech­nocrats have put West­ern civ­i­liza­tion on a down­ward tra­jec­to­ry and that only a shock to the sys­tem can reverse its decline. And they tend to have a dark, apoc­a­lyp­tic tone that at times echoes Bannon’s own pub­lic remarks over the years—a sense that human­i­ty is at a hinge point in his­to­ry. . . .”

One of the influ­ences on Ban­non is Cur­tis Yarvin, aka Men­cius Mold­bug, who has actu­al­ly opened a backchan­nel advi­so­ry con­nec­tion to the White House: ” . . . . Before he emerged on the polit­i­cal scene, an obscure Sil­i­con Val­ley com­put­er pro­gram­mer with ties to Trump backer and Pay­Pal co-founder Peter Thiel was explain­ing his behav­ior. Cur­tis Yarvin, the self-pro­claimed ‘neo­re­ac­tionary’ who blogs under the name ‘Men­cius Mold­bug,’ attract­ed a fol­low­ing in 2008 when he pub­lished a wordy trea­tise assert­ing, among oth­er things, that ‘non­sense is a more effec­tive orga­niz­ing tool than the truth.’ When the orga­niz­er of a com­put­er sci­ence con­fer­ence can­celed Yarvin’s appear­ance fol­low­ing an out­cry over his blog­ging under his nom de web, Ban­non took note: Bre­it­bart News decried the act of cen­sor­ship in an arti­cle about the programmer-blogger’s dis­missal.

Moldbug’s dense, dis­cur­sive mus­ings on history—‘What’s so bad about the Nazis?’ he asks in one 2008 post that con­demns the Holo­caust but ques­tions the moral supe­ri­or­i­ty of the Allies—include a belief in the util­i­ty of spread­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion that now looks like a tem­plate for Trump’s approach to truth. ‘To believe in non­sense is an unforge­able [sic] demon­stra­tion of loy­al­ty. It serves as a polit­i­cal uni­form. And if you have a uni­form, you have an army,’ he writes in a May 2008 post.‘It’s been a while since I post­ed any­thing real­ly con­tro­ver­sial and offen­sive here,’ he begins in a July 25, 2007, post explain­ing why he asso­ciates democ­ra­cy with ‘war, tyran­ny, destruc­tion and pover­ty.’

Mold­bug, who does not do inter­views and could not be reached for this sto­ry, has report­ed­ly opened up a line to the White House, com­mu­ni­cat­ing with Ban­non and his aides through an inter­me­di­ary, accord­ing to a source. Yarvin said he has nev­er spo­ken with Ban­non. . . .”

After dis­cussing Face­book’s new AI tech­nol­o­gy being employed to search users’ pho­tos, the pro­gram con­cludes with the shift of Sil­i­con Val­ley mon­ey to the GOP.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: review of Steve Ban­non’s role on the NSC; review of the mar­tial law con­tin­gency plans drawn up by Oliv­er North dur­ing the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion, involv­ing the dep­u­tiz­ing of para­mil­i­tary right-wingers; review of Erik Prince’s rela­tion­ship to the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and Bet­sy De Vos, Trump’s edu­ca­tion sec­re­tary.


John Perry Barlow (Grateful Dead Lyricist, Dick Cheney Campaign Manager, George Wallace Voter), the CIA, and the Genesis of Social Media

In FTR #854, we not­ed John Per­ry Bar­low’s back­ground as Dick Cheney’s cam­paign man­ag­er and George Wal­lace sup­port­er in 1968. In FTR #895, we dis­cussed the fact that the Elec­tron­ic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion embraced tech­nolo­gies devel­oped by CIA-linked insti­tu­tions. Bar­low found­ed the EFF. It turns out that Bar­low was invit­ed to CIA head­quar­ters in 1992 and advanced con­cepts that may well have lead to the devel­op­ment of social media–”. . . Let’s cre­ate a process of infor­ma­tion diges­tion in which inex­pen­sive data are gath­ered from large­ly open sources and con­densed, through an open process . . . The enti­ty I envi­sion would be small, high­ly net­worked, and gen­er­al­ly vis­i­ble. It would be open to infor­ma­tion from all avail­able sources . . . It would rely heav­i­ly on the Inter­net, pub­lic media, the aca­d­e­m­ic press, and an infor­mal world­wide net­work of volunteers–a kind of glob­al Neigh­bor­hood Watch–that would sub­mit on-the-ground reports. . . . It would use off-the-shelf tech­nol­o­gy, and use it less for gath­er­ing data than for col­lat­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing them. Being off-the-shelf, it could deploy tools while they were still state-of-the-art. . . .”


“Alt Right” Assange, the Facebook “Virtual Panopticon” and the Victory of the Trumpenkampfverbande

Wik­iLeaks is a fas­cist, “Alt-Right” insti­tu­tion that aid­ed Trump’s elec­tion. Face­book, one of whose largest stock­hold­ers is Trump sup­port­er Peter Thiel, also helped aid the elec­tion of “The Don­ald.” All of the con­tents of this web­site as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 35+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of video­taped lec­tures are avail­able on a 32GB flash dri­ve. Dave offers his pro­grams and arti­cles for free–your sup­port is very much appre­ci­at­ed.


FTR #904 Miscellaneous Articles and Updates

Begin­ning with an update on the inves­ti­ga­tion into the fate of Adolf Hitler, the broad­cast notes that asso­ciates of Simon Dun­stan and Ger­ard Williams (authors of “Grey Wolf”) received death threats in con­nec­tion with their research–this more than 70 years after the Fuehrer’s alleged “sui­cide.”

Fresh from his Sil­i­con Val­ley appear­ance, Naren­dra Modi has been actu­al­iz­ing the RSS’s Hindu/nationalist fas­cism, insti­tut­ing an online mon­i­tor­ing agency and beat­ing up stu­dent pro­test­ers in New Del­hi.

Much of the broad­cast details devel­op­ments in the world of high-tech, from appar­ent and ter­ri­fy­ing hacks to pre­dic­tions about the mas­sive replace­ment of work­ers by robots and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Aya­tol­lah Khome­ini’s net­work­ing with a Mus­lim-Broth­er­hood affil­i­ate; the appar­ent hack­ing of a Boston sub­way train; the hack­ing of a water treat­ment plant; review of Nazi hack­er and Glenn Green­wald crony Andrew Auern­heimer’s hack­ing of remote print­ers; review of the devo­lu­tion of Microsoft­’s Tay AI chat­bot into a Nazi; dis­cus­sion of the devel­op­ment of arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence as the “next big thing” in tech­nol­o­gy; pro­jec­tions that 83% of jobs pay­ing under $20.00 an hour will be tech­no­log­i­cal­ly phased out; pro­jec­tion that more than 5 mil­lion con­struc­tion jobs will be replaced by robots and/or AI; the late Antonin Scali­a’s net­work­ing with the Hab­s­burg milieu.


FTR #890 Tracking from the Far Right: Update on the Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook

QUICK: Who said this?: “ ‘It seems like the [Unit­ed States Dol­lar] and [Great Britain’s Pound] are both like­ly to go the way of the zim­babwe dol­lar,’ he sug­gested in March 2009. ‘Espe­cially with that cock­bag Bernanke decid­ing to mag­i­cally print 1.2T more dol­lars.’ . . . Oba­ma was ‘plan­ning to deval­ue the cur­rency absolute­ly as fast as the­o­ret­i­cally pos­si­ble,’ he wrote. . . .” Ted Cruz? Don­ald Trump? Mar­co Rubio? Paul Ryan? Rand Paul? No, it is Edward Snow­den. Note how this jibes with Paul Krug­man’s descrip­tion of the GOP pri­ma­ry field: ” . . . . After all, Paul Ryan, the speak­er of the House, not only berat­ed Ben Bernanke, Ms. Yellen’s pre­de­ces­sor, for poli­cies that alleged­ly risked infla­tion (which nev­er mate­ri­al­ized), but he also dab­bled in con­spir­a­cy the­o­riz­ing, accus­ing Mr. Bernanke of act­ing to “bail out fis­cal pol­i­cy.” . . . But Wall Street isn’t the only source of malign pres­sure on the Fed, and in the actu­al­ly exist­ing U.S. polit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion, such a bill would essen­tial­ly empow­er the cranks — the gold-stan­dard-lov­ing, hyper­in­fla­tion-is-com­ing types who dom­i­nate the mod­ern G.O.P., and have spent the past five or six years try­ing to bul­ly mon­e­tary pol­i­cy mak­ers into ceas­ing and desist­ing from their efforts to pre­vent eco­nom­ic dis­as­ter.” This pro­gram high­lights the far-right, fascis­tic forces under­ly­ing Eddie the Friend­ly Spook. Much of the pro­gram con­sists of excerpts of past pro­grams, stretch­ing back to the late 1990’s. The elec­tron­ic “vac­u­um clean­er” approach of NSA and GCHQ has been on the pub­lic record for years. In the 1990’s NSA, GCHQ and the ECHELON/Five Eyes net­work came under joint assault by Ger­many and the Free Con­gress Foun­da­tion. The lat­ter is very close to Nazi alum­ni of the Third Reich, the OUN/B in par­tic­u­lar, and is an ele­ment deeply involved in pro­ject­ing the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations back into the for­mer U.S.S.R. and East­ern Europe. GOP big­wig Grover Norquist has been a vocif­er­ous oppo­nent of NSA spy­ing, as well as shep­herd­ing Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-linked ele­ments in the Unit­ed States. Pro­gram High­lights Include: Mr. Emory’s first post on “L’Af­faire Snow­den,” in which he won­dered aloud what all the fuss was about, since this has been on the pub­lic record for years; review of the fact that oth­er Euro­pean coun­tries do the same thing as NSA/GCHQ; Review of Snow­den’s views on Social Secu­ri­ty: ” . . . Snow­den wrote that the elder­ly ‘wouldn’t be fuck­ing help­less if you weren’t send­ing them fuck­ing checks to sit on their ass and lay in hos­pi­tals all day.’ ”


FTR #867 Because They Can, Part 3: Fireside Rant about Technocratic Fascism as “Cyber-Crowleyism”

Con­tin­u­ing dis­cus­sion from FTR #866, we devel­op var­i­ous man­i­fes­ta­tions of lib­er­tar­i­an, tech­no­crat­ic fas­cism. Cel­e­brat­ed by Sil­i­con Val­ley exec­u­tives and ele­vat­ed to pow­er (in part), by EBay chief Pierre Omid­yar, Naren­dra Mod­i’s Hin­du nationalist/fascist gov­ern­ment has been sup­press­ing free speech, laud­ing Mahat­ma Gand­hi’s killer as a patri­ot, mur­der­ing crit­ics and turn­ing a blind eye to lethal mob vio­lence direct­ed against Mus­lims for alleged­ly slaugh­ter­ing cows. Cap­i­tal­iz­ing on Snow­den’s activ­i­ties, the very finan­cial insti­tu­tions that pre­cip­i­tat­ed the 2008 finan­cial col­lapse are employ­ing a secure, end-to-end encryp­tion mes­sag­ing sys­tem that will enable them to evade reg­u­la­to­ry scruti­ny. The lais­sez-faire, cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy embraced by Modi is at one with the val­ues of Edward Snow­den, Julian Assange, the Tea Par­ty and the GOP as a whole, the advo­cates of Bit­coin, and the pirates of Wall Street. Pro­gram High­lights Include: a com­par­i­son of the social philoso­phies of Assange and Snow­den with those of the SS; review of Mod­i’s move to under­mine Indi­a’s child labor laws; review of the fright­en­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties of “smart con­tracts;” review of Bit­coin as “cyber-off­shoring.”